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Alliance of Sport congratulates David Dein on Twinning Project

The Alliance of Sport congratulates David Dein on the launch of the Twinning Project on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.

Dein, the former Arsenal and FA Vice-Chairman, aims to ‘twin’ professional clubs with their local prisons and use football as a catalyst for changing lives.

Under the plans, football club coaches would be supported by prison PE staff to deliver coaching, refereeing and other employability-based qualifications inside jails. The aim is to offer offenders meaningful activity, open up routes for employment upon release and help reduce reoffending.

Clubs will be asked to provide £100,000 each over the next two years to support the work inside 125 prisons across England and Wales.

Alliance of Sport Co-Founder James Mapstone was among guests from across football and criminal justice at Wednesday’s launch event. Others who attended included Arsenal legends Arsene Wenger and Ian Wright, ex-Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, Prisons Minister Rory Stewart, high-profile proponent of sport in prisons, Dr Phillip Lee MP, our Steering Group member Professor Rosie Meek, and our own Ambassador John McAvoy.

Alliance of Sport Chair, James Mapstone, commented: “The Alliance of Sport is glad to have supported conversations that led to the Twinning Project reaching this stage. We congratulate David Dein for convening key figures from across the sectors and elevating the profile of the incredible impact sport can have in the secure estate.

“It was tremendous to hear the powerful words of our Ambassador John McAvoy, who is the embodiment of how sport can support transformational change.

“Organisations from across all sports are doing great work within criminal justice. This project aims to expand on those relationships and increase the opportunities for offenders to live a life, free from crime.”

At the launch, it was announced that West Ham United were one of the first professional clubs to join the scheme, with coaches committing to providing coaching and education sessions in prisons in London and Essex.

Dein commented: “Football can be a powerful force for good, and the Twinning Project will use this to help people change their lives when they are released from prison.

“There is already great work being done in prisons across the country aimed at reducing reoffending and this initiative will build on that using football. We are delighted to have the support of the Government and the whole of the UK football community. We believe the Twinning Project will make a real difference to people and communities across the country.”

For more information on the Twinning Project, head to the official website.

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